When it comes to Machiavellian politics, Bridgeport rarely disappoints: tires slashed, literal pissing contests, restraining orders.
In advance of Tuesday’s primaries, CT Post scribe Colin McEnroe writes “There are also very important primaries in Hartford and New Haven, but, unfortunately, they are nowhere near as entertaining.”
In the spirit of an old-fashioned editorial fleecing, OIB will violate Hearst Media’s fair-use policy to bring you the most relevant portions of McEnroe’s slashing observations.
Which primary involves tires being slashed? Many of you probably guessed Bridgeport, and you should be ashamed of yourselves for reverting to such an obvious stereotype, even though, yes, you are correct. The weird thing is that it happened to a Republican candidate. Ethan Book is one of three Republicans running for mayor. He is also a one-man limo company, and recently, when all four of his limo tires were slashed, he said it was “probably politically motivated.”
Absolutely any human activity that has ever been contemplated in the world can happen in Bridgeport, but it doesn’t really make sense to slash tires in a Republican primary given that the eventual victor has no chance of becoming mayor.
… Which campaign most resembles a directorial project by Quentin Tarantino? That would be Bridgeport’s Fightin’ 138th. Three candidates vying for one of the district’s two seats are incumbent Karen Jackson, Maria Pereira and Tony Barr. Barr served 20 years in prison for charges arising from his days as a drug gang enforcer and, on one occasion, appears to have fired a machine gun at an undercover policeman. More recently, he was arrested for allegedly threatening to blow Mayor Joe Ganim’s head off. I’m comfortable saying it would be an enormous mistake for any political opponent to address Barr as “you great big girl’s blouse.”
Pereira, meanwhile, has been arrested at least three times in recent years. She also, last December, filed for a civil protection order against Barr and recently goaded longtime Bridgeport politician Ernie Newton into making pee-pee for a drug test. She did the same. They both came back clean. In 2016, the Bridgeport superintendent of schools quit, citing the bullying and harassment by Board of Ed member Pereira as the primary cause.
I feel like I might be leaving a few things out. I’m hoping to audit “Maria Pereira: Issues in Criminal and Civil Jurisprudence,” a Yale Law School seminar taught by my friend and colleague Brian Lockhart, although currently no such course exists.
Meanwhile, Jackson, the incumbent, has been accused by Pereira of violating the residency requirement when she was evicted from her home, although if I were Jackson I would probably arrange to be evicted just so I could go somewhere safe.
That’s all. There are also very important primaries in Hartford and New Haven, but, unfortunately, they are nowhere near as entertaining.
Full column here.